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virtual server

A server, usually a Web server, that shares computer resources with other virtual servers. In this context, the virtual part simply means that it is not a dedicated server-- that is, the entire computer is not dedicated to running the server software.

Virtual Web servers are a very popular way of providing low-cost web hosting services. Instead of requiring a separate computer for each server, dozens of virtual servers can co-reside on the same computer. In most cases, performance is not affected and each web site behaves as if it is being served by a dedicated server. However, if too many virtual servers reside on the same computer, or if one virtual server starts hogging resources, Web pages will be delivered more slowly.

Also see the Server Types page in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia for a comparison of server types.

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